06 Sep 2013

Pruning and Trimming Shrubs and Fruit Trees for the Season’s End

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If you are at the end of the flowering season in the garden that you live with, then it is time to trim, prune and
think about how best to extend this for next year. If like me, you live amongst vigorous shrubs and trees, now is not a bad time to begin the task of reducing the heights, widths and general shape of the shrubs in order to let the sun bathe the garden as it lowers in the sky toward the Fall.There is much to be said for this practice during the waning summer month of September.

Whilst the plants are still active but done with putting on the new growth, the nutrients are heading down the plants feeding tubes to the roots and this gives pruning a most definite advantage.The clock, for the plant, is ticking toward winter so it is starting to think about dormancy, which means any pruning done now will not sprout  meaningful shoots until next Spring. You see, when pruning is done in the spring the wounding sets off dormant buds in the stems and you get a whole lot of what I like to refer to as “panic growth”, also known as water shoots in the fruit world. If however, you choose to start the process at this end of the year, you will allay any new growth until the spring and by then, the wounds will have healed, resulting in reduced panic growth.It is a little more difficult to prune with leaves and sometimes fruit still on the plant, but the outcome is worth it, seven to eight months of airy, tidy and nicely shaped plants for the winter.

The winter garden can be beautiful when silhouetted through the sun, branches naked of foliage, glimmering in the morning crispness. But for now, enjoy the late summer in your garden, there is much  richness yet left in the corners.

Have a lovely week,Derek

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